In Blackjack, if the dealer's initial draw reveals an Ace, players are allowed to "insure" against a dealer having a natural blackjack.

If the dealer turns out to have a natural blackjack, the player collects a 2:1 payout on the insurance - so that you don't wind up losing your bet!

Here's the specific scenario I'd like to understand: Imagine that you're a blackjack player who has $1,000 in chips:

  1. You bet $200 (so you have $800 left).
  2. Cards are dealt, dealer shows an Ace.
  3. You buy insurance (cost: $200; you now have $600 in-hand).
  4. You hit, and your hand busts: you've gone over 21.
  5. Dealer reveals their hand, it's a natural blackjack.

Which of the following outcomes would apply?

  • Outcome A: You don't collect your insurance, because you busted. You have $600 in-hand.
  • Outcome B: You collect insurance, even though they busted. You now have $1,000 in-hand.
  • 1
    Your proposed steps are out of order; 5 would happen before 4. The dealer checks for blackjack (and reveals if they have it) after insurance bets but before the players act on their hands. May 20, 2016 at 16:39
  • Your comment makes no sense for games where the dealer only receives faceup at the initial deal and then draws after players have acted. You can't have a blackjack (and pay insurance) with just an ace.
    – Nij
    Mar 9, 2018 at 21:40

1 Answer 1


Option B, but not for the reason you think.

You have made two errors:

  1. When you take insurance, you may insure only up to half of your original bet, turning what would ordinarily be a loss into a push at 2:1. In this case, if your wager was $200, you could insure for up to $100.

  2. Once insurance is "closed," the dealer checks to see whether he or she has a natural 21. If he or she does, it is revealed immediately, your insurance is paid out, and all other players lose[*]. If he or she does not, insurance is collected, and the hand proceeds normally. In no case would you still have an insurance payout pending and get to hit.

[*]= Barring those who had naturals themselves, who either took the option for "even money" before insurance had closed, or will now "push" against the dealer's 21.

So, in this case:

  1. You bet $200 ($800 left)
  2. You take insurance of $100 ($700 left)
  3. The dealer shows a natural 21. You lose your $200 bet, but your insurance bet pays out 2 to 1 -- your initial $100, plus $200, for a total of $300 back to you.
  4. You have $1000, same as you had before this hand.
  • If the dealer did not have a natural 21 then you would lose your $100 insurance?
    – John Odom
    Oct 9, 2015 at 16:28
  • @JohnOdom Yes. You would lose the $100 and then play out the hand as normal.
    – Jadasc
    Oct 9, 2015 at 16:42

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